Hanan Hamid, a 21-year-old college student who sold fish to earn a living, walked the ramp at Onam Bakrid Khadi Expo to promote Khadi products in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

She was all smiles and confident when she took part in the fashion show organised by the state-run Kerala Khadi Board, clad in a designer Khadi Kerala half-saree.

Khadi Board Vice Chairman Shobhana George said the student was all happy to take part in the government-sponsored event. "She considered the opportunity as a recognition for her struggles to stand on her feet. She walked the ramp very confidently. Everyone appreciated her after the programme," George said.

Hamid was viciously trolled and faced cyberbullying recently after the story of her struggle to fund her studies and to take care of her family was widely shared on social media by several people, including film artists and politicians. Her story had gone viral after a Malayalam daily reported her struggles.

However, a section of social media users expressed their doubts about her story and claimed it was ‘fake’.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had directed the police to initiate action against the cyber bullies, following which a man had been arrested under various sections of the IT Act and the Indian Penal Code.

Hamid described herself as a "daughter of the government" who wishes to be protected. In a Facebook post, Vijayan later said that he had assured her government support and asked her to go ahead with courage.